Estonian Victory Day is an anniversary of crucial military victory against foreign forces.
At the end of World War I, Estonia was engaged in a War of Independence with two former major powers, against attacks by Soviet-Russian troops and a Baltic-German Landeswehr army. By the end of December 1918, the Soviet-Russian forces, in an effort to re-establish the borders of the Tsarist Empire, had succeeded in occupying half of Estonia. The tide began to turn in late December 1918 when Finnish volunteers and British naval assistance arrived Estonia to support Estonia’s defence. In less than a month Estonia was virtually cleared of all Soviet forces.
Intermittent fighting continued on the eastern and southern fronts throughout 1919. On 5 June 1919, General von der Goltz advanced and attempted to isolate the right wing of the Estonian Army, but the final battle on 23 June 1919 saw the collapse and defeat of the von der Goltz army. The defeat of the two invading forces and the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty in 1920 between Estonia and Soviet Russia marked the successful achievement of Estonia’s independence after centuries of struggle, Estonia’s borders were restored and 23 June became a day to celebrate the victory.
Victory Day is a remembrance day that serves to honour those who fought for Estonia.
On June 23 rd 2021, we honour all who have fought for Estonia’s democracy and for freedom, we remember the sacrifices made, the price paid for it, the lessons learnt. Freedom and independence are not given or granted, but stood for and fought for. The flames we light, and the blue-black and white we raise, are not only to remember the past, but also to take us to the future, as a sign that we stand for Estonia and for its independence where ever are.
Have a beautiful and proud Victory Day!
On behalf of AESL,